Council freezes Council Tax
Release date: 23 February 2016
Members of Cotswold District Council met today and endorsed the Cabinet’s recent recommendation to freeze its share of local residents’ Council Tax payments for 2016/17, following a 5% cut in 2015/16, a 3% cut in 2014/15 and a 5% reduction in 2013/14. Last year’s 5% cut was hailed as the biggest in the country and the previous 5% cut for 2013/14 also led the field.
The freeze for 2016/17 means that the actual amount being charged is lower than the figure ten years ago. In other words, the typical payment for a resident in a Band D property would have seen a real terms cut of 25% over the last six years.
The Councillors also endorsed a recommended freeze on parking and garden waste collection charges and welcomed two new measures;
- A new £1million fund to expedite the installation of high speed broadband across the District (CDC will be setting aside £500,000 to finance installation work and this will be match-funded by another £500,000 from Gloucestershire County Council).
- Setting aside up to £75,000 to fast-track a project which will address concerns about parking provision in Cirencester.
Additionally, they agreed that two car parks in Cirencester (The Forum and the Brewery) will continue to offer 'free after 3 pm' parking pending the completion of refurbishment works in the Market Place.
Commenting after the meeting, CDC Leader Cllr Lynden Stowe said:
“Only about 10% of the Councils in the country are not raising their share of Council Tax and I am proud that Cotswold is one of those select few. We are reaping the benefits of our joint working with other authorities and our ongoing efficiency programme - these are key to us maintaining important frontline services while freezing Council Tax, parking charges and green waste collection fees.
“As a result of our efforts to save on costs, we also have sufficient leeway to set aside funds which will help us address two very important concerns that need to be resolved as soon as possible – the lack of efficient broadband in many localities and the squeeze on demand for parking in Cirencester. Both these obstacles are having an adverse effect on the quality of life for many residents and are also hampering the District’s economy.
“I should also add that the Cabinet recently awarded three-year funding deals to the Citizens Advice Bureau service in the District and also local Visitor Information Centres – the former equating to about £66,000 per year and the latter costing about £54,000 per year. Again, we feel that this is money well spent considering the benefits this brings to residents and traders.”
“Our close relationship with West Oxfordshire District Council, which involves sharing a large number of posts ranging from senior management to officer level, continues to flourish. We are also both developing very effective ties with Cheltenham and Forest of Dean Councils under the 2020 Partnership shared working programme and this will go from strength to strength in the years ahead.
“As ever, our main priority is to provide local taxpayers with excellent value for money while recognising that we need to be on the front foot to tackle local issues such as parking demand, communications and flooding concerns.”